Space Music: Tangerine Dream, Schulze, Lustmord

(Photo by Brian Cooke/Redferns)

As we explore in our podcast episode "The Science of Coincidence," Synchronicity is a funny thing. The week I finally gave in and signed up for Spotify(three months for 99 cents is hard to resist) is also the week they added podcasts to their lineup and even played part of a STBYM episode on stage at the presentation.

I'm finding the digital music service most useful in plunging the deep discographies of artists I've been meaning to explore for years. Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Lustmord are all examples of this, so I thought I'd tank a moment to profile one release from each artist.

First, there's Tangerine Dream's 1972 double LP "Zeit," which deals thematically with the perception of time. It's very ambient and very cosmic, conjuring a space-time journey that reverberates with massive, heavenly bodies and twinkles with the fragments of human memory. I feel like some might classify this as a solid album for stoned listening, but I'd go as far to say it's the sort of music that can get you there without any herbal or pharmaceutical aid. It's pure space music and I highly recommend you give it a listen.

Of course there are countless other gems in the Tangerine Dream discography. The late Edgar Froese is an electronic music legend for a reason. The 1974 release "Phaedra" and their soundtrack for 1977's "Sorcerer" are also really pleasing me this week. And since the poster art for the release captured me so, I also had to give 1979's "Force Majeure" a proper listen. The rock elements are a little strong for my liking, but it's still pretty great -- and there's no arguing with the spaced-out power of that poster art.

Our next artist, Klaus Schulze was actually an early member of Tangerine Dream. I'd previously fallen in love with his 1975 release "Time Wind," which delivers a delightfully ambient electronic sound, but had not explored his extensive discography further. This week I've been digging his soundtrack to the 1983 Austrian horror film "Angst." The movie in question concerns a murderous psychopath, but the soundtrack transcends the source material. Schulze' score is delicate and dreamy, with occasional bursts of spaced-out tension and action.

Finally, there's dark ambient mainstay Lustmord (Welshman Brian Williams), whose work I was first turned onto due to his Tool remixes. I think I even picked up an album of his about a decade ago, but it didn't grab me. Fortunately, Spotify allows me to really immerse myself in his uncanny soundscapes. Of particular note, his 2011 release "Songs of Gods and Demons" is an absolutely wonderful descent into a realm of booming shadows and extraplanar malevolent forces.

Bandcamp embeds poorly here, so if the following player doesn't work for you, just go straight to the source.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.